Translation as Advocacy

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Author: Various

Category: Language

Book Format: Paperback / softback

Publisher: John Murray Languages

ISBN: 9781399816144

RRP: $85.00

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What does it mean to advocate – in translation, for translation, through translation? What does advocacy look like, for those who do the translating or for those whose work is translated? To what extent is translation itself a form of advocacy? These ‘what’ questions are the driving force behind this collection.

Translation as Advocacy highlights the innovative ways in which translator-academics in seven different fields discuss their practice in relation to their understanding of advocacy. The book aims to encourage people to think about translators as active agents bringing new work into the receiving culture, advocating for the writers they translate, for ideas, for practices. As such, the book asserts that the act of translation is a mode of cultural production and a political intervention through which the translator, as advocate, claims a significant position in intercultural dialogue.

Featuring seven interrelated chapters, the book covers themes of judgement, spaces for translation, classroom practice, collaboration, intercultural position, textuality, and voice. Each chapter explores the specific demands of different types of translation work, the specific role of each stage of the process and what advocacy means at each of these stages, for example: choosing what is translated; mediating between author and receiving culture; pitching to publishers; social interactions; framing the translation for different audiences; teaching; creating new canons; gatekeepers and prizes; dissemination; marketing and reception. This book repositions the role of the translator-academic as an activist who uses their knowledge and understanding to bring agency to the complex processes of understanding across time and space. Moving critically through the different stages that the translator-academic occupies, using the spaces for research, performance and classroom teaching as springboards for active engagement with the key preoccupations of our times, this book will highlight translation as advocacy for students, educators, audiences for translation and the translation industry.

Like all the volumes in the Language Acts and Worldmaking series, the overall aim is two-fold: to challenge widely-held views about language learning as a neutral instrument of globalisation and to innovate and transform language research, teaching and learning, together with Modern Languages as an academic discipline, by foregrounding its unique form of cognition and critical engagement.

Specific aims are to:

propose new ways of bridging the gaps between those who teach and research languages and those who learn and use them in everyday contexts from the professional to the personal

put research into the hands of wider audiences

Collectively authored as Language Acts and Worldmaking project team, this volume was co-edited by Catherine Boyle and Sarah Maitland.

Catherine Boyle is Professor of Latin American Cultural Studies at King’s College London where she is also the Director of the Centre for Language Acts and Worldmaking in King’s Arts and Humanities Research Institute. Her re search and practice is based in connections between cultural history and translation and on methodologies for theatre translation in research and performance, and she was Principal Investigator for the Language Acts and Worldmaking research project.

Debra Kelly is Professor Emerita in Modern Languages, School of Humanities, University of Westminster, London. In 2005 she received the award of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Academiques from the French Government in recognition of her services to French language, literature and culture. She has published widely in French and Francophone literary and cultural studies. Her research now focuses on the historical and contemporary French and Francophone communities in London, and she recently authored Fishes with Funny French Names: The French Restaurant in London from the 19th to the 21stCentury (2021). Since 2008, she has been Co-Director of Routes into Languages London, a programme which supports and encourages language learning from primary through to higher education with a focus on access and widening participation. She is also Visiting Senior Research Fellow at King’s College London working with the Centre for Language Acts and Worldmaking in King’s Art and Humanities Research Institute and co-leads the research strand ‘Language Transitions’ with Ana de Medeiros.

Ana de Medeiros is Director of the Modern Language Centre at King’s College London. In 2017 she was elected Vice-Chair of the UK Association of University Language Communities (AULC). Ana co-leads the research strand ‘Language Transitions’ with Debra Kelly as a member of the Centre for Language Acts and Worldmaking at King’s College London. In 2020 she was invited to join the scientific board of the Language Learning in Higher Education Journal.Throughout her academic career she has studied the lifewriting of women writers. She has published in English, French and Portuguese on, Francophone and Lusophone literary and cultural studies, focusing primarily on questions of identity in the work of a number of authors including Marguerite Yourcenar, Assia Djebar Amelie Nothomb and Marie Nimier.

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